Snooker: Hendry threatened with ban

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The Independent Online
Stephen Hendry's manager, Ian Doyle, has hit back at Rex Williams, after the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association threatened to ban the world No 1.

Hendry and the rest of Doyle's 16-strong stable have received a letter from the WPBSA, warning them that any future comments deemed to be against the interests of the sport are likely to result in disciplinary action. The letter, from the acting chief executive, Martyn Blake, stresses that Hendry may be banned, fined or have world ranking points deducted - not just for speaking out himself, but for anything untoward said by Doyle as his representative.

"We are going to put Stephen Hendry on notice," Williams said. "He made comments after the UK Open which were detrimental to the game. In the case of Ian Doyle, we have rules which can be used to prevent him entering a venue where this association is running a tournament. He will be barred or ejected, just like any member of the public who causes a problem. Should Ian Doyle continue to make remarks which the board consider damaging to the game, his players will be brought before a disciplinary committee, who will decide what action to take - and we are prepared to go all the way."

But Doyle was unwilling to be intimidated. "I am very confident that Rex Williams will be erased from this game for ever and some of his henchmen will go with him," he said. "They are all in for a mighty shock in the next few weeks. I've now spoken to all my players, who have binned the letter, and they will give me their 100 per cent support, as I would have expected. If the WPBSA believe they can frighten players of the stature of Stephen Hendry, they have read the situation very badly."